For the 40th time: Israel Land Administration has removed land trespassers from Al Araqeeb

As a part of a combined law enforcement operation against violations of land laws executed in Negev, ILA and Green patrol inspectors for the 40th time evicted 6 newly-built illegal constructions in the Nachal Hadudaim area, also known as “Al Araqeeb”. There illegal constructions were erected by Bedouin trespassers, whose land claims have been dismissed in court previously. A senior ILA official: "Serial land trespassers in Al Araqeeb are close to break the record in land trespassing, our determination is fixed, and every time they try to trespass on state lands, let them be sure that they will be evicted according to the law. In Givaot Goral it took 42 times to learn the lesson".

As a part of a combined action against land trespassing and illegal construction in Negev, ILA inspectors for the 40th time prevented state lands invasion in Nahal Hadudaim area ("Al Araqeeb"). Six new illegal constructions erected by land trespassers have been removed. The land in Al Araqeeb area is considered to be state land from the Ottoman period. But in spite of numerous court judgments that ruled out that disputable land plots has never belonged to Bedouins, but rather to the state, Abu Madiam and Abu Jaber family members continue to occupy the land and build illegal constructions there.

Israel Land Administration has filed a tort law suit of NIS 1.8 million in Beer Sheva Magistrate court against 34 Negev Bedouins responsible for invasion to the state lands in Al Araqeeb area. The law suit demands that the invaders would compensate all the state expenses due to the requirement in their eviction.

As for the invaders suited in court – Abu Madiam and Abu Jaber families, they have houses built on the land provided to them by the state in Rahat. Although their land ownership claims are not based – according to the court ruling – they continue time after time to come back to Al Araqeeb and invade the lands.

Up until 1998 this land was used by the ILA as seasonal rentals for agricultural purposes for Bedouins living in the area. Starting from 1998 defendants stopped renting these plots and starting to invade them. As a consequence, a disposal file suit has been filed against them in 1999 (T.A. 9422/99), and on March 21, 2000 a consent judgment has been announced. As a part of it, a permanent injunction order addressing the trespassers was issued prohibiting them from entering the area, accept for visiting the nearby cemetery with a tiny prayer house next to it. These were the only constructions permitted in the area. Since then there were numerous times when land trespassers came and invaded the land here. It has been the 40th time in a row when they were evicted this time.

The Israel Land Authority inspection commissioner in the South District Shlomo Tsizer says: “We are talking about serial land trespassers that are close to setting a new record in trespassing – land invaders in Givaot Goral have been removed 42 times until they learned the lesson. As long as the invasions of the public land continue, the state and the Israel Land Administration will carry on and resist invaders with fixed determination and consistency. As long as there are land invasions ILA will proceed to execute the evictions, file tort law suits against the trespassers in order to compensate the eviction expenditure and to destroy illegal constructions on state lands. Israel is a state with a rule of law as a main principle, and we will ensure the implementation of court rulings and the law enforcement.